During a tour of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, I approached a monk, pointed to my camera, and asked if I could take his picture. He nodded, indicating he understood what I was asking, and posed standing very proud and upright. A young boy was selling bottled water nearby, so I bought two bottles and gave one to the monk. I paid the child and waited for my change. When it didn't come, I pointed to my palm, saying, "Don't I get change?" The child looked at the monk, then at me, and said in perfect English, "Change comes from within." I still look at those pictures every time I need a good laugh.
- Mitchell Baylis,
Did I Hear That Right?
One day, two young men, obviously returning from a tropical vacation, sat a few rows in front of me. The cabin was unusually warm, and so the pair proceeded to take off as many clothes as they could, including their shirts. During the preflight safety briefing, the flight attendant announced, "Please ensure that your tray tables are in the full, upright position, all luggage is stowed, and all shirts are on."
- Erin Walsh,
Did I Hear That Right?
During the preflight check, the flight attendants were demonstrating the seat belts and such. When the narrator came to the part about oxygen masks, he said, "If you are seated next to a five-year-old, or someone acting like a five-year-old, put your mask on first, then help them."
- James Dorrell Jr.,
Arlington Heights, Illinois
A FIRST-CLASS CUSTOMER
On a flight home, I got to my business class seat fairly early and settled in. Not too long before the plane was scheduled to depart, a businessman in a three-piece suit came charging onto the plane, stopped next to me, and began to yell at me for being in "his" seat. I showed him my boarding pass with the seat number, but he just got more irate. As his voice rose, the flight attendant, finding that we had both been assigned the same seat, said she would try to get him a new seat as soon as possible. Nothing doing. "Fine, sir," she said. "Miss, would you mind moving?" I said no, and as she helped me collect my bags and the gentleman took a seat, she said, right in front of him, "There's an open seat in first class, ma'am, where I'm sure you'll be very comfortable."
- Josephine Gilmore,
Don't drink and drive!
En route to one of my many L.A. to New York trips, I stopped in Connecticut for a round of golf with a client. The golf carts happened to be parked side by side, with the back of the carts against a wall. This meant that if you wanted to put something on the front seat, you had to drop it through the "windshield" area. We had purchased some beers at the clubhouse, and so I tossed the container (holding 12 beers, ice, and water) onto the front seat. Unfortunately, the bucket happened to fall onto the accelerator. You can probably guess what happened next. The cart lurched forward, caught me dead on my shins, and dragged me to the blacktop. I quickly turned over on my stomach, protecting my head, as the cart rolled over me and into a wall. At this point, my pants were at my ankles, shredded, and I was about knocked out cold. People raced to my side, and, eyes closed, I reached up, undid my favorite watch, handed it to someone, and proceeded to pass out. I have great pictures of the event, if you can stomach them. Actually, they're not too bad.
- Eric Winter,
Los Angeles, California
I had an appointment with a gentleman at one of the Las Vegas casinos. I was to call him when I got to the lobby so he could come down to meet me. When I did, he asked me how he’d recognize me once he got there. I told him what kind of top I was wearing, and without missing a beat, he said, “Take it off and I’ll recognize you immediately!”
— Linda Downing,
My first international trip was 20 years ago, to Tokyo. I knew nothing of the Japanese, and I thought they were wonderful hosts for providing me with a vibrating bed. I later discovered it was actually an earthquake!
— Stephen Tolbert,
Miami Springs, Florida